Robotics has become an integral piece of technology to society. Not only can robotics engage students in STEAM opportunities and prepare them for the workforce, but it also provides many other benefits. This blog will share seven benefits of incorporating robotics into your classroom.
1. Robotics Can Improve Proficiency and Enthusiasm for STEAM
Robotics activities and programs are a great way to get kids excited and familiarized with STEAM. One of the best things about robotics is that they are exciting for students. Many students, when they think of robotics, associate them with movies/TV shows, toys, video games and other exciting things that they do in their fun time. This excitement can generate interest in a future STEAM career or help students feel more comfortable in STEAM projects.
Robotics are utilized in a variety of industries, like production or automation. Whether a student is interested in automobiles, space/aviation, artificial intelligence, gaming, medicine, or the wide variety of other applications that robotics are used in, interacting with robotics can help students build experience in STEAM.
2. Students Will Engage With Other STEAM Activities
Robotics provides your students with exposure to other essential STEAM experiences. Many robotics require some basic coding knowledge and computer programming skills, so students can utilize these skills to have robots complete specific tasks.
Robots can perform various tasks that range from simple to incredibly complex. When students interact with robots, they are challenged to engage with other STEAM concepts required to make robots function.
Over the past few years, there has been a large shift in the STEM field to incorporate the arts, so many professionals and educators often focus on STEAM initiatives. Robotics helps appeal to your students who prefer artistic/visual work.
Students with these interests can contribute to the design of robotics and gain a sense of inspiration from this work. In professional fields, design can play just as important a role as engineering, and design skills are critical for students’ future careers in STEAM.
3. Robotics Help Build Teamwork and Improve Communication Skills
Often, robotics projects can use the help of multiple students, depending on if students are participating in a robotics competition or to help accomplish more in-depth robotic projects. Robotics projects provide a great reason to encourage students to work with one another.
When working on these projects, your students will interact not only with robotics but with one another. Often, it can be challenging to foster environments where students are actively working together to solve problems. However, introducing them to a new robotics project will create the need for them to work well together.
In addition to improving teamwork skills, your students will also have the opportunity to increase their communication skills. Not only will your students have to communicate with one another in a problem-solving situation, but they will also have to understand verbalizing thoughts to have robots perform logical skills and sequences.
When students think about giving instructions, they often skip some steps. During robotic activities, students learn the importance of detail-oriented communication. Creating robots to perform certain tasks can emphasize the importance of steps and sequences, which can help improve overall skills that are useful for personal and professional communications.
4. Robotics Can Teach Critical Learning Skills
As students are working with one another on robotic projects, they will likely discuss and share specific ideas that they might need to test out. Students can come up with problems in their everyday life that they think robots can fix or consider things that robots could automate. Allowing students to develop theories that can be tested in robotics projects will strengthen their ability to form hypotheses.
One of the most important components of STEAM academics and careers in STEAM is the ability to learn by trial and error; confidently theorize certain solutions; put them to the test; and, record and process results. Students who engage with robotics can learn these important elements of STEAM, which will benefit them in future projects.
5. Robotics Creates a Space For Inclusive Learning
Some students might be averse to STEAM subjects. Often, we feel drawn to certain subjects in school more than others. For students who may not think they excel in math or science, certain STEAM projects might not appeal to their interests. Robotics is a great way to reach your students who might fit in this category. The beauty of robotics is that they can be simple to understand while building a foundation for STEAM knowledge.
According to the U.S. Census, men make up 73% of all STEM careers. In order to make this career field more inclusive, finding ways to engage female students is critical, and incorporating robotics in the classroom can help them discover these opportunities are open to them as well.
Another way robots can foster inclusive learning is the fact that robots can support a wide variety of learning levels. Including students in the learning process is crucial, and robotics provides a way for all students to learn about STEAM concepts. A survey designed to evaluate the impact of robotic programs on students with disabilities reported that students felt engaged, confident, and experienced quality participation with classmates.
6. Students Can Learn How To Pace Their Work
Unlike some other projects students will encounter, robotics specifically provides a unique challenge as there’s a chance students might be exposed to this concept for the first time, or that it might be a new challenge as every robotics project is different.
Robotics provides a great experience for students to learn project planning and execution. Your class might have to spend time watching YouTube videos or reading to learn about certain robotics.
After looking over these materials, you might have to draw up a plan for your robotics or discuss what you plan to use it for. This process can be as long or as short as you would like but can give students insight into the project pace. This is a great skill to prepare students for any form of competitive workforce, whether or not it’s in a STEAM field.
7. Robotics Projects Can Prepare Students For The Workforce
One of the most notable and important benefits of incorporating robotics into the classroom is preparing and inspiring students for a STEAM related career. As technology advances and new industries boom, preparing the next generation of STEAM professionals is critical. STEAM careers are exciting, and many students might not know the endless possibilities for them in these career fields, from aerospace engineering, video game design/programming, or developing a new social media app.
Robotics is an exciting project that students will consider fun and open the door for their curiosity of STEAM projects, opportunities and careers.
See The Benefits of Robotics In Education
If you have considered incorporating robotics into your classroom, there couldn’t be a better time! As technology advances, teaching robotics will help prepare your students for the future workforce and improve their STEAM skills. To learn more about lesson planning and how to incorporate STEAM projects into your classroom, visit Space Foundation’s Center For Innovation and Education resource page for educators!